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Pennsylvania’s Premier Craft School

724-329-1370

Special Topics Workshops

2021 Workshop Season Update:

Touchstone is pleased to be able to offer a modified 2021 workshop season. Based on best practices related to Covid-19, workshops will run at a reduced capacity of 6 participants, all multi-occupancy lodging has been converted to single-occupancy, and mask and social distancing protocols will be strictly enforced. Our updated cancellation policy* can be found​​

HERE and our Covid-19 Policies and Procedures* can be found​​ HERE *Subject to change.

 

NEW! Updated Artist Residency Program in 2021!

 

To learn more please CLICK HERE.

2021 Registration Is Now Open!

Register early, class size is limited, workshops will fill quickly.

JUN 28-JUL 2 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI) 

Designing Your Own
Digitally Printed Fabrics

Instructor: Becka Rahn

Beginner
$585 Member | $615 Non-Member 
$70-$100 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List​

This workshop is no longer open for enrollment.

 

From Rectangles to Repeats: Learn to design your own fabrics with Spoonflower, working with Adobe Photoshop as a fabric design tool. Using photographs, paintings, drawings and cut paper textures as starting points for your designs, class time will be focused on practice with digital tools and techniques for creating seamless textures, learning how to work with layers, and understanding the techniques to accomplish specific effects. You will see hands-on samples of all of the Spoonflower fabrics and talk about optimizing your design for printing on different surfaces, troubleshooting color and scale, and choosing the right fabric for your project. You do not need drawing or painting skills; no experience with Photoshop or fabric design is necessary, although you should be comfortable with basic computer functions (copy/paste, saving and uploading files, working with a thumbdrive). You will leave class with several print-ready design files and will receive printed swatches of your designs mailed to you after class. Visit spoonflower.com to learn more about this platform.

Becka Rahn is a digital fabric designer, specializing in complex textured designs from cut paper illustrations using recycled papers and engineered photographic prints. She is the co-author of The Spoonflower Handbook, a how-to guide to designing your own fabrics. She has received grants from Jerome Foundation and the MN State Arts Board for her work and was recognized with an emerging artist award by Fiber Art Now magazine in 2018. Becka has taught workshops and seminars at national conferences including Surface Design Association, Midwest Weavers Guild and Handweavers Guild of America, as well as Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts. She has served on the international Etsy Sellers Advisory Board, representing niche craft business owners and as a member of the board of directors at the Weavers Guild of MN and Hennepin History Museum. She is an active teaching artist in her community, working with local museums, art centers and schools, including a residency at the Bell Museum in 2020/21. Becka lives in Minneapolis with her husband and black lab, Leo. She spends a lot of time thinking about pixels.

Instructor website: beckarahn.com
Instagram: @beckarahn

JUL 12-16 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI) 

Color on Cloth

Instructor: Angie Knowles

Beginner
$585 Member | $615 Non-Member 
$30-$60 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List​

 

This workshop is for anyone who loves color! Learn dyeing basics of natural fabrics using fiber reactive dyes and low water immersion techniques; the required chemicals and additives needed and color mixing theory while focusing on how to mix and blend colors. Over 5 days you will learn how to make and maintain two types of natural indigo vats using natural indigo powder.  Expect to make several pillow or napkin-sized samples and leave with a wealth of dyeing knowledge!

Angie works in mixed media, primarily surface design on cotton and silk.  Knowles first encountered surface design in 2008 when she joined the Tampa Bay Surface Design Guild and has since studied under many leading artists including: Jane Dunnewold, Kerr Grabowski, and Gasali Adeyemo.  She offers workshops in her studio and has taught at John C. Campbell Folk School.

Instructor website: angieeknowles.com

AUG 9-13 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI)

Bronze Casting
with Rivers of Steel

Instructor: Ed Parrish

All Levels
$585 Member | $615 Non-Member
$140-$170 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List​

This Workshop Is Full

Sign Up for Waitlist

 

Join Rivers of Steel at Touchstone Center for Crafts for a one-of-a-kind workshop in bronze casting. You will work with leading foundry artist Ed Parrish for this 5-day workshop to build and transform your unique creations into solid bronze. Beginning with the creation of a pattern from wax, oil clay, or other basic materials, you will then learn to invest your pattern design in resin-bonded sand molds and work to cast each object on the final day of the workshop. PLEASE NOTE: Materials and Studio Fees includes some of the cost of foundry sand and bronze with additional available for purchase. This cost is calculated based on usage at the end of the workshop.

Ed was born and raised in North Carolina. He attended East Carolina University where he earned a BFA in sculpture. Soon after college Parrish relocated to Pittsburgh where he began working as an artist blacksmith and fabricator. He was part owner of Red Star Ironworks a custom metal shop focusing on decorative metal work. Moving forward he worked as an independent artist and taught foundry classes out of his private studio. Ed also worked in the film industry as a special effects technician and specialty prop maker. Parrish lead Hot Metal Happening a series of public iron casting events at various locations around Pittsburgh. He has exhibited work at the Mattress Factory, the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, The Carnegie Museum of Art, Space Gallery, and most recently, a solo exhibit at the Irma Freeman Center for Imagination. Currently he is working with the Rivers of Steel Arts as the lead foundry artists developing foundry and metal arts programing. Parrish has over twenty years’ experience and a lifelong dedication to the exploration of metal arts.

website: Rivers of Steel
Instagram: @edparrishjr 

AUG 9-13 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI) 

Transformations in Paper
– A Workshop for Veterans

Instructor: Frontline Paper

FREE TUITION FOR VETERANS AND
ADULT FAMILY MEMBERS!*

A limited number of spaces available
No Experience Necessary
$35 Materials and Studio Fees
Materials List will be provided

*Applications will be accepted until all spaces are full.

 

Veterans and family members are invited to join this unique workshop and learn traditional hand paper making techniques, transforming military uniforms into paper as a means for sharing stories and building community. This 5-day workshop begins with an overview and explanation of the papermaking process, seeing and feeling examples of the paper and previous art made, and beginning the process of ‘deconstructing’ the uniform. You will begin to form an idea of what you might like to put on the paper, in the form of images and words and move on to pulling sheets of paper, making pulp prints, drying the paper, and making art. The art made can and will range from pulp prints, letterpress, writing, and bookbinding. Whether the blank paper or a created image on the surface, each work of art tells a story through the language of papermaking. Uniforms, pulp, and paper with be provided but it is encouraged that the veterans attending, if they have them, bring uniforms of their own to transform into paper. It’s a powerful experience turning the uniform you wore into paper. No experience necessary – just a willingness to explore something new in a supportive environment! Provided for veterans and taught by veterans.

Frontline Paper began in 2011 as Combat Paper NJ. CPNJ was founded by veteran artists and activists, Eli Wright and David Keefe. With inspiration from master papermaker Drew Mattot, and Drew Cameron’s traveling project called Combat Paper  Project, Eli and Dave built a unique community-oriented papermaking program that connects veterans and non-veterans from all eras through the transformational  practice of making handmade paper from military uniforms, creative writing, and  printmaking via the profound connection over making and telling stories together.  Through a process of deconstruction, reclamation, and communication, Veterans connect with non-veterans, by sharing their personal stories through handmade paper, printmaking, and participatory artmaking. Combat Paper NJ became Frontline Paper in 2017. 

AUG 16-20 | 5-DAY (MON-FRI)

Natural Fiber Baskets:
Grow & Weave

Instructor: Jo Campbell-Amsler

All Levels
$585 Member | $615 Non-Member 
$90-$120 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List​

This Workshop Is Full

Sign Up for Waitlist

 

Starting from the ground up, you will explore the processes for gathering and using a variety of natural materials such as willow, bark, iris and day lily leaves, roots, vines and sticks, that can be used for basket weaving.  Using willow as the ‘heart’ of the basket structures, you will learn a variety of techniques while experimenting and weaving several basket styles.  This workshop will open your eyes to the possibilities of materials growing around you! Expect to weave 3-4 baskets during the workshop.

Jo has been using willow in her basketry work since the early 1980’s. Her work has been featured in magazines, books, and exhibits across the United States – one of the most recent being “A Measure of the Earth” at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian in Washington DC. Teaching throughout the United States, she is also a co-organizer for several retreats – The Willow Gathering and Willow Weekend. She is a past board member of the National Basketry Organization that focuses on connecting both traditional and contemporary basketry makers across the US and beyond. In recent years, she has hosted a number of basketry tours to Ireland, Scotland, Spain, France and Denmark, Wales and England, and Italy, visiting with basketry weavers in those countries and learning new skills with willow and other natural materials.

Instructor website: willowridgebaskets.com
Instagram: @willowridgebaskets

SEPT 4-5 | 2-DAY (SAT-SUN) 

Papermaking:
Hold onto Your Deckle!

Instructor: Kerri Cushman

Beginner
$300 Member | $330 Non-Member 
$45-$75 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List​

 

In this 2–day workshop you will discover how to produce handmade paper with low-tech methods yielding high-end results. Experimenting with pigmented natural fibers (kozo, cotton, abaca), we will create a variety of sheets using western molds and deckle boxes. The papers formed will be pulled, poured, dipped, vacuumed, and stretched. You will be introduced to the world of surface design with room for creative experimentation. No prior experience required.

Kerri is a sculptural book artist and avid papermaker. She holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts from Columbia College Chicago. Know for her artist books, Cushman has shown her works in over 100 exhibitions nationally and internationally.  She teaches traditional papermaking, book arts, and letterpress printing at Longwood University in Virginia. Her innovative work was selected for the cover of 500 Handmade Books, and has been featured in  Hand Papermaking’s portfolio Fiber Exposed!, 500 Handmade Books vol. I & II, 1000 Artists’ Books, and 500 Paper Objects. She is the proprietor of Performing Goats Press.

Instructor website: kerricushman.com

SEPT 25-26 | 2-DAY (SAT-SUN) 

The Art of Calligraphy

Instructor: Jim Lavrinc

All Levels
$300 Member | $330 Non-Member 
$20-$50 Materials and Studio Fees
Download Materials List

 

Calling all lovers of letters! Come relax for a weekend and enjoy learning beautiful hand-written lettering. Lessons will consist of group instruction followed by one-on-one attention. Beginners will learn basic italic through individual guidance and group discussion. Experienced students will enhance their font style and create a finished, frameable piece you’ve been wanting to design and complete. Bring a creative attitude, a willingness to have fun, and your imagination!

Jim has been teaching lettering design for over 30 years. After graduating from LaRoche University with a degree in Graphic Design, he taught at CCAC, North Hills Art Center, Kaufmann’s, Three Rivers Art Festival, Fox Chapel Adult Education program & various community centers. Jim is an experienced logo designer and produces calligraphy for individuals and company clients. He is a proud member of the Association for the Calligraphic Arts and The Calligraphy Guild of Pittsburgh.

Workshops are filled on a first-come-first-served basis. Many fill quickly. Please register at least 15 days ahead of the start of any workshop so that we can count you in! Touchstone makes the determination of whether a workshop will run 14 days in advance of all workshops’ scheduled start date, primarily based on the number of participants registered at that time. 

A processing fee of $15 will be added to 1-5 day workshops.

Nonrefundable COVID-19 Fee: A $10 (1- & 2-day workshops), $15 (3-day workshops), and $20 (5-day workshops) COVID-19 fee will be charged per participant, per workshop during the 2021 season to help offset the extraordinary additional and increased expenses to Touchstone for cleaning, sanitizing, PPE, disposables, and other costs directly related to ensuring health, safety, and social distancing requirements as outlined by the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. This fee is nonrefundable.

To view a full listing of the Terms and Conditions as part of your enrollment, download the 2021 Student Guide.

Touchstone Center for Crafts prohibits discrimination in employment, educational programs, and activities on the basis of race, national origin, color, creed, religion, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or association preference. Touchstone Center for Crafts also affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunities and equal access to its facilities and programming.

Mission Statement: Touchstone Center for Crafts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance excellence in the arts and crafts by educating and encouraging individuals to develop technical skills, good design, and innovative expression.

Touchstone Center for Crafts stands in solidarity with the Black community and condemns all acts of racism, discrimination, and senseless violence. We firmly believe that everyone has a right to dignity, respect, and equality without fear. As an organization, we commit to listen and learn and to grow. We will continue to work to empower people to use art as a means of expression, a way to build community, and a powerful voice for change.

Touchstone Center for Crafts · 1049 Wharton Furnace Rd. · Farmington · PA 15437

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